U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Defense Department employees on Tuesday that most of the civilian workforce will face unpaid leave of 11 days between July 8 and the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, as the military scrambles to meet painful budget cutting targets.
"Difficult choice. But we had to make it," Hagel said, adding that he "tried everything" to forestall the deeply unpopular decision. He added he could not guarantee that defense civilian employees would not be in a similar situation next year. Reuters reported the furlough decision earlier on Tuesday. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Vicki Allen)
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